Psychiatrists are the best-placed specialists to diagnose and treat adults with ADHD. A psychiatrist can: make a diagnosis of ADHD. devise a management plan for ADHD.
If you suspect you have ADHD, you can visit a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. However, there is not just one thing that will tell a psychiatrist whether or not you have ADHD. Instead, the psychiatrist will make the diagnosis based on a number of different factors.
In the adult population, ADHD is usually diagnosed and treated by adult psychiatrists.
Accessing private clinics and clinicians is the usual way adults can be assessed for ADHD in Australia. If you're interested in accessing stimulant medication, the most effective treatment for ADHD, then seeing a psychiatrist who specialises in ADHD is usually the most efficient path.
How much does an assessment cost? $370. This includes up to two hours of work done by the psychologist consisting of: Review of the results of the assessment pack.
“Over 80 percent of kids with ADHD have a second disorder, which really complicates the diagnosis of ADHD,” says Russell Barkley, Ph. D., a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. Anxiety, mood disorders, and learning disorders often go along with ADHD.
There are two reasons for this. Clinicians are given little or no training in recognizing ADHD. ADHD is the only medical condition for which there is no textbook. Even if a doctor wants to learn how to diagnose and treat ADHD, there are few places to get the information.
Seeing a Psychologist
You might benefit from referral to a psychologist for an assessment, and to help you develop strategies to address issues that you are concerned about. Psychologists are highly trained and qualified to diagnose and treat people with ADHD using a range of methods based on best available research.
For adults, doctors may use: Adult ADHD Clinical Diagnostic Scale (ACDS): This is an interview of 18 questions about ADHD symptoms. Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Symptom Assessment Scale (BADDS) for Adults: This is a set of 40 questions that look at attention, memory, and mood issues.
Adults who think they may have ADHD should talk to their health care provider. Primary care providers routinely diagnose and treat ADHD and may refer individuals to mental health professionals. If you need help starting the conversation, check out NIMH's Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider fact sheet.
Untreated ADHD in adults can lead to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. This is because ADHD symptoms can lead to focus, concentration, and impulsivity problems. When these problems are not managed effectively, they can lead to feelings of frustration, irritability, and low self-esteem.
Can I get a Medicare rebate or Private rebate for an ADHD assessment? Unfortunately it isn't possible to get a rebate via Medicare as Medicare only allows a rebate for treatment and not assessment or testing.
ADHD Assessment & Treatment Centres
To legally protect the rights of people with ADHD in Australia, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), a person's ADHD must be classed as a disability according to the criteria as specified in the DDA. DDA disability definition criteria relevant to people with ADHD: 1.
In some situations, therapists won't provide a diagnosis because they don't think it's essential to the recovery process. Many professionals believe that labels can cause clients to concentrate on the wrong aspects of their mental health condition.
There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms, which is why it's important to speak to your healthcare providers if you suspect you might have ADHD.
There's no simple test to determine whether you or your child has ADHD, but your specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed assessment. The assessment may include: a physical examination, which can help rule out other possible causes for the symptoms. a series of interviews with you or your child.
Many of the less-known ADHD symptoms — working memory and executive function deficits, difficulty sleeping, and irritability, for example — also show up with mood disorders, autism, anxiety, and other brain-based conditions.
A diagnosis can also finally provide an explanation for some of the struggles a person has faced in their life, she says. "It could mean that you can start accepting your entire self and focus less on what you have felt are some of your weaknesses," she says.